The online Master of Healthcare Administration from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health hones your analytical, technical and leadership skills with a curriculum developed by our faculty of globally recognized researchers and industry professionals.

Created specifically to address the challenges faced by administrators in healthcare organizations, this program draws concepts from the disciplines of business, finance, marketing, data analytics and organizational behavior.

Engaging Learning with Online Sessions, Campus Immersions and a Capstone Project

Courses in the online MHA feature a combination of asynchronous activities, such as lecture videos and readings, and weekly, one-hour live sessions with peers and faculty. Two required on-campus immersions and a capstone project provide hands-on experience and networking opportunities. For the capstone, students consult with a healthcare organization to solve organizational or management problems.

MHA Program Overview: Flexible Full-Time or Part-Time Course Options

The online MHA is a 66-unit program designed to be completed in as little as two years, with each year consisting of four 10-week terms. The capstone lasts one quarter and is completed during Term 7.

Students can switch between full-time and part-time course loads each quarter to fit their professional needs. Both options include the flexibility for students to maintain a full-time work schedule while completing their degree.

  • Full-time students take two courses at a time and follow the progression of courses laid out below.
  • Part-time students take one course at a time. They adhere to the same course order as full-time students but over an extended period. They must complete all requirements for one term before advancing to the next; for example, a student must pass both courses listed in Term 1 before enrolling in Term 2.

“We’ve designed a cutting-edge program that delivers an optimal learning experience. Our students tackle real-world healthcare problems in their classes and bring great ideas back to their organizations. They also add concrete accomplishments to their portfolio through experiences like our capstone project. This is a master’s for those who want to make a lasting difference.”

Laura Erskine, PhD, MBA
Professor of Health Policy and Management, Director of the MHA Program, and Director of the UCLA Center for Healthcare Management

Required Courses

Term 1

Lecture, three hours; discussion, one hour. Limited to graduate online healthcare administration students. In-depth analysis of the organization of health services systems in the U.S., using relevant theories, concepts and models. Various mechanisms for payment and insurance schemes will be discussed. Letter grading.

Lecture. Exploration of the public health profession and science, the impact of social determinants of health (SDOH), epidemiological and environmental factors, and the structural factors affecting health, all in a local and global ecosystem. Letter grading.

Term 2

Lecture, three hours. Discussion, one hour. Application of contemporary management and organization behavioral theory to systems that provide personal healthcare services. Environmental characteristics, decision-making, structure and culture, and processes of health services organizations. Letter grading.

Lecture, three hours. Discussion, one hour. Microeconomic aspects of the health-care system, including health manpower substitution, choice of efficient modes of treatment, market efficiency and competition. Letter grading.

Tutorial. Professional development topics for healthcare administration leaders. Various elements and behaviors guided by faculty. S/U or letter grading.

Term 3

Lecture, three hours. Discussion, one hour. Sampling situations, with special attention to those occurring in biological and social sciences. Topics include distributions, tests of hypotheses, estimation, types of error, significance and confidence levels and sample size.

Lecture, three hours. Discussion, one hour. Develop skills in analyzing and improving healthcare systems and processes by integrating systems analysis, quality management, operations research techniques, exploratory data analytics and data visualization. Emphasis is placed on the use of organizational data, especially time-stamp data, to study processes and outcomes of care, particularly as it relates to flow analysis and improving flow. Hands-on use of computer-based modeling tools, including spreadsheets and spreadsheet add-ins, will focus on formulating, designing and constructing models; drawing conclusions from model results; and translating results into written end-user reports to support process improvement and quality improvement efforts. Letter grading.

Term 4

Lecture, three hours. Discussion, one hour. Provides a strong foundation in health information technology (HIT) with an emphasis on the development of knowledge and skills to plan, manage and implement HIT systems in healthcare delivery organizations with clinical and business partners and evolving HIT spaces. Background and evolution of HIT; how it is planned, implemented and managed; and how it can be productively used by healthcare delivery organizations, external research organizations, regulatory organizations, providers and patients/consumers. Fundamentals of technology, electronic medical records (EMR), electronic health records (EHR), personal health records (PHR), meaningful use, interoperability and health information exchanges (HIE). Letter grading.

Lecture, three hours. Discussion, one hour. Examines the purpose and methods of financial accounting (including for profit, not for profit and governmental), function and organization of the finance department, and special industry characteristics affecting financial management (to include third party payers, price or rate-setting and cost-shifting, taxation and healthcare incentives, and emerging healthcare organizations). Letter grading.

Term 5

Lecture, three hours; discussion, one hour. Conceptual, analytical and technical aspects of environmental assessment and strategy formulation in health delivery organizations, biopharma and medical technology. Special attention to structure and dynamics of competitive markets, corporate-level strategic planning and marketing, managerial ethics and values, organizational creativity/innovation. Letter grading.

Lecture, three hours. Discussion, one hour. Concepts of financial management and managerial accounting as applied within the healthcare industry. Build managerial financial decision-making skills and key analytical methods used in applications of healthcare financial management. Understand and respond to the financial recommendations of advisors, lenders, investors and other stakeholders by applying concepts such as time value of money, financing approaches, capital planning and budgeting. Letter grading.

Tutorial. Prepare healthcare administration graduate students for subsequent capstone project requirements. S/U grading.

Term 6

Lecture, three hours. Discussion, one hour. Preparation: completion of immersion one – HLTADM 596. Examination of leaders and leadership in healthcare and other organizations to provide broad introduction to literature on skills, behaviors and characteristics of organizational leaders. Relationship and importance of vision, values, change, strategy and communication. Identification of characteristics of successful leaders. Students evaluate their own leadership style and identify opportunities to further develop their leadership abilities. Letter grading.

Lecture, three hours. Discussion, one hour. Management and operations of individual units and organizations of the American healthcare system. Exploration of ways in which they actually function and how to ensure their quality and effectiveness. Examination of roles, activities and daily challenges of managers and how these challenges can best be met on a day-to-day basis. Emphasis on applied practice with intent being improvement of student managerial competencies and on development of skills to manage operational processes in delivery of health services, primarily directed to improving effectiveness, efficiency, performance and quality of healthcare services. Quality improvement (QI) techniques such as performance measurement, rapid cycle testing, breakthrough series and interorganizational collaboration benefit quality and productivity. Letter grading.

Term 7

Field project, to be arranged. Design and conduct a project based on a health administration problem addressing the delivery, financing and evaluation of healthcare administration services. Preparation of consulting report and presentation. Exposure and improvement in selected professional development categories such as problem-solving, project management and communication skills. Letter grading.

Lecture, three hours. Discussion, one hour. Exploration of data sources and uses in health care, e.g., electronic medical records, social media, wireless biosensors, system and facility data. Review of hands-on techniques including data management, development of indexes and metrics, choosing and implementing analysis methods and visualizations. Discussion about data collection and processing within the health care system. Elevate analytical skills and increase capabilities to leverage data to drive strong leadership decisions within management functions, healthcare organizations, and the healthcare industry at large. S/U or letter grading.

Term 8

Selected Topics Course Descriptions*

*Availability of selected topics courses may vary.

Lecture, three hours. Discussion, one hour. Introduction to concepts of healthcare marketing. Exploration of principles of market-driven decision-making process. Examination of development of key elements in annual marketing processes and of consumer, competitor, company analysis, market segmentation and target markets. S/U or letter grading.

Lecture, three hours. Discussion, one hour. Introduction of new technologies in healthcare e-commerce/Internet/new media area, with emphasis on general background, review of applications and discussion of organizational and managerial issues dealing with successful use and implementation of technologies. S/U or letter grading.

Lecture, three hours. Discussion, one hour. Concepts in human resources management as applied to healthcare organizations. Relationship between human resources management and general management, nature of work and human resources, compensation and benefits, personnel planning, recruitment and selection, training and development, employee appraisal and discipline, union-management relations. S/U or letter grading.

Lecture, three hours. Discussion, one hour. Analysis of components of major federal healthcare reform legislative initiatives to identify important policy, research and implementation issues. Application of principles of stakeholder analysis to understand how and why this legislation was constructed and how it passed Congress. Conducting policy analyses of selected components through completion of written assignments. Examination of respective roles of federal and state government in implementing and administering various components. Identification of significant implementation and administrative challenges at federal and state levels and development of possible strategies for addressing those challenges. S/U or letter grading.

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